The ESL CHECKER player vs the ESL CHESS player

chess

(Photo credit: http://bit.ly/2lu5CWu)

Chess – as most will know, is a board game of strategy involving very complex maneouvres and forward thinking. Some people devote their life to the game and can become world champions.

Checkers – on the other hand is a board game using a simply logical linear process of thinking. There is some strategy involved, but nothing on the scale of Chess.

The question to ask now is – when it comes to learning English – are you a chess player or a checkers player?

If you are a chess player you will understand deeply these principles:

  • Every piece has its own specific moves
  • Every move impacts and changes the long-term strategy of the opponent
  • Every move must be thought through to up to 20 moves ahead
  • There are time limits and expectations on every move
  • The goal is to take the opponents king (checkmate)

If you are a checkers play you will need to understand deeply these principles:

  • Every piece has the same moving ability
  • Every move impacts and changes the short-term strategy of the opponent
  • Most moves are not thought through more than 3-5 moves ahead
  • There are time limits one very move
  • The goal is to take over all the pieces of the opponent.

I’ve probably simplified everything here, but what I wanted to show is that way in which we approach something can affect the outcome. Chess definitely isn’t an easy game to conquer as there is only one piece you need to get and if you are dealing with a very experienced chess player then the game will be tough, however with checkers, once you reach a certain number of pieces taken, the rest is history. You just need to dominate from the start and its game over.

Learning English has a similar process. If you are someone who is approaching it from the checkers point of view, you are simply learning things one step at a time without any depth of thinking, (which is okay in the beginning but after a while you have to go deeper). The chess approach however asks the learner to go deep with this learning from the start. To learn one simply concept but digest it in a way that allows you to see always the bigger picture. Why are you learning English? How is it impacting your future? What do you need to do next to get closer to your final goal?

Basically a checkers approach to learning English means you turn up to class, do what is required and go home, whereas a chess approach to learning English means you turn up to class, do what is required, challenge yourself even more, see what impact that has on your future goal and ultimately note and measure the process in order to get the most out of your opportunity, then…..go home and do the same.

So ask yourself – ‘am I a chess player or checker player’ when it comes to learning English?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s